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The Book Forum
March 14, 1964

The World of Asclepios: A History of Medicine in Objects

JAMA. 1964;187(11):875. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060240083043

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The medical museum is a relatively uncommon institution, but when well-ordered can provide a fascinating cultural and educational experience. Although in the past the term "museum" has often held a dull, musty connotation, this image is fortunately changing. In Zurich, The Institute of the History of Medicine, where Professor Ackerknecht is director, has an outstanding museum, which demonstrates that a history of medicine can find effective expression in objects of historical import.

From this museum Dr. Ackerknecht presents a thoughtful selection of medical objects, art works, portraits, archeological findings, instruments, that together sketch out a panorama of medical history. The photographic reproductions are excellent, and many of the plates are in splendid color. A brief text, in both German and English, provides a continuity and exposition.

The author's careful selection presents a surprisingly comprehensive view in a small compass. The book is not a history of medicine. It is a

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